Italian Nocentini takes yellow jersey after 7th stage
Italy's Rinaldo Nocentini captured the yellow jersey in Friday's seventh stage of the Tour de France, which was won by Brice Feillu of France in a solo breakaway in Arcalis, Andorra.
Lance Armstrong slipped to third place overall — eight seconds off the lead — after his Astana teammate and 2007 Tour winner Alberto Contador sped ahead in the last two kilometres in an attempt to capture the overall lead.
Provisional results showed Contador second, six seconds behind Nocentini. The Italian and Feillu were part of a nine-man breakaway group that jumped out early in the stage.
"It's a nice victory," said Feillu, a 23-year-old riding in his first Tour.
The yellow jersey changed possession for the first time in this year's race. Fabian Cancellara of Switzerland had held it since his victory in the opening-day time trial. Cancellara trailed far behind the leaders in the main pack.
The 224-kilometre trek from Barcelona to the Andorran ski resort of Arcalis was the longest stage of this Tour. Competitors scaled the category 1 Serra-Seca pass, before the climb into Arcalis that is one of the toughest ascents in pro cycling.
Garmin-Slipstream rider and Victoria, B.C., native Ryder Hesjedal is 59th overall.
Riders embark on two more days in the Pyrenees before a rest day Monday. The Tour ends July 26 in Paris.